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Excerpt - Mbali Vilakazi

“I was asked to write about my anger today
Instead, I lit a cigarette
I started to cry

I don’t have poems about anger.

The words lie somewhere deep and inaccessible to me.

Something must have happened
Someone must have said something
Something big enough to make me feel so small

Someone must have said something:
‘anger is a waste of an emotion, it’s for people who can’t control themselves, it’s ugly, destructive, selfish, a bad fit for a girl, ladies don’t make a mess’

So every time I have wanted to spit, scream, shout
and break things (like I have been)
I have said:
‘it’s okay, never mind, don’t worry, I understand, I’ll try harder, I must have done something to deserve it – I deserve it’

I was asked to write about my anger today
I thought, ‘where do I begin?’
And how when everything I have ever wanted to say
has always been the wrong thing,
the worst thing
the last thing anyone wanted to hear.”

Mbali Vilakazi ©


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